By Curtis Jackson



As you know, Rauls was a taco stand located on Nadeau St., near Crockett Ave. No good Firestone Officer ever went through a shift without eating, or at least stopping, and visiting other units at one of the many fine cuisines located in the FPK area. When I think back, there were many, many stories, which have emanated out of one, or all of these fine establishments. Whether it was “Jimmy’s”, “Lucy’s”, “Boys”, “Holly’s”, Ollie’s, “Roosevelt’s”, “Mr. B’s”, or where ever, they all have a story. This story is about Raul’s.


Most of my career, I worked plain-clothes assignments. I drove various under cover vehicles, including a 1964 Chevy Impala with a concealed red light, and a “federal” radio installed under the drivers seat. (Compliments of George Ramos)  I guess I didn’t look like the typical Firestone cop, who was buffed, handsome, squared jawed, etc. As a result, few people on the street ever thought I was an officer. Matter of fact, now that I look back, no one thought I was an officer. Even when I was dressed in my finest Sheriff’s uniform. I still had to convince them. “Yes, I really am an officer”. Back to the story.


I was standing in line at the window of Raul’s, hoping they would recognize me, and give me a discount. (Note: Never worked for me). As I was waiting my turn to put my head in the order window, I was tapped on my back. I turned around, and saw a very large black, buffed, young adult individual standing about 6’03”.  He had a large vinyl shopping bag in his right hand. My first thought was, “I can’t believe I left my gun in my vehicle”. The vehicle was parked in front of Raul’s, only a few feet away, but it seemed like miles. Fortunately the individual did not appear to be combative.


He shook the sack, and said, “do you want to buy a BV”, or something like that. Judging from the size of his sack, I said, “You have a T.V.?” He said, “ I said RD. You know, Red Devils. I got anything you want. Reds, Blues, Yellows, Black Beauties. I got it all.” As he was talking, he opened the bag showing me a large number of prescription bottles, containing pills of various types.


I told him to close the bag up, and get away from me. I didn’t want to get busted. Didn’t he know cops came here to get tacos all the time? He indicated to me that he wasn’t worried about no “dumb cop”. He said “do you want any, or not?”  I told him I would take everything he had, but for him to get away from me, and go across the street to the empty parking lot, and wait for me to get my taco. I didn’t want to get busted. He indicated he would, but said I couldn’t afford everything he had as he had “just knocked off a pharmacy the other night”. I told him I would “just take what he had in the bag”.


By this time I was finally at the window. I ordered my two tacos, and looked across the street and saw my “friend” waiting for me. He kept motioning for me to hurry up. I received my tacos, and opened the passenger side of my vehicles door. I reached down, trying not to be too obvious, and asked for back up at that location, via the “federal “ radio. I heard two units “ack” the call with a two-minute ETA.


As I rose up, my “friend” was getting very agitated. He hollered “do want this stuff or not?” I told him, I would be right there. I drove over to his location across the street. Of course, with my weapon this time. I got out of my vehicle and started small talking him about buying everything he had at his home. Basically, stalling for time.


As we were talking, I could hear the sweet sound of the Plymouth Fury carburetors coming in my direction.  I said that “sounds like the cops”. He instantly hid the bag, and said if they stop here “let me do all the talking”. I agreed. One unit slid into the parking lot, grabbed my “friend”, “placed” him on the hood, handcuffed him, and threw him in the back seat. All in one fluid motion. Nothing said. He looked at me with a confused look from the back seat of the unit. I took my badge out, and identified myself. Sweating profusely he says, “YOU CAN’T BE NO COP!”


I said, “yes, believe me, I really am an officer”